A meaningful new mural in the Tauranga Moana
Published: November 7, 2023
The Bay of Plenty Real team came together in March to unveil their new taonga – a mural on their whare, depicting the legend of Mauao (Mount Maunganui).
Designer, Wim Hovens, worked closely with Kaihautū Anaru Hawkins, former Kaiwhirimuka Chaz Naera, and the team at Wise Property Solutions to create the meaningful piece.
The group also had korero with local iwi, Ngati Ranginui to ensure the legend was well represented through the mural.
This new mural follows the creation of a 17-metre-long mural at Te Whare o te Hononga in Kirikiriroa Hamilton, which was unveiled in 2022. It has been designed in the same style to connect the two pieces, most notably through the same Real tumanako pattern (made up of ‘x’ shapes) in the sun’s rays, representing the light Real kaimahi bring to the lives of taiohi.
Caroline Henry, team coach for the Bay of Plenty Whetū Marewa service, reflects on what the new mural means for her team’s mahi and the taiohi they support:
As a team we’re privileged to have this taonga unite us in our work together with our taiohi and our whenua. The legend speaks of the sun rising over the land, ‘fixing the nameless one to that place’, thus beginning a new life as Mauao.
Some of our taiohi feel they don’t have identity or agency and don’t have a place to belong. Our hope is that they always feel they belong and welcomed in our whare, thus progressing their journey to living their very best lives as they determine it, as we walk alongside them.
The team are so proud to have this beautiful taonga as a part of their whare, connecting them and all who see it to the rich culture and history of the area.